It's time for another episode of 'Investors do the Darndest Things!', in which Nintendo's share value swings up and down as strange movements happen in the financial market. It's right up there with death and taxes as an inevitable part of existence.
Super Mario Run arrived on 15th December at about 12:30pm Eastern / 5:30pm UK time, to give two examples. That allowed the Tokyo stock market to react in trading on 16th December, and now that it's closed we can see that investors were rather concerned about early performance of the iOS app.
Nintendo's shares closed on 26,405 Yen, down 4.24% and reportedly equating to a drop of around $1.5 billion Yen in overall company value; DeNA shares dropped 6.8%.
So, what's going on? The primary concern - it seems - is related to the revenue potential of Super Mario Run; that's valid, as the debate's been raging over whether it's wise (when seeking maximum profits) to shun microtransactions and opt instead for a premium one-off charge. Though the concern is justified, it seems far too early to make snap judgements on whether it'll work out for Nintendo; still, such logic isn't welcome in the stock exchange.
Below you can see the drop; Nintendo's shares had been declining all week, and we were waiting to see whether that would continue or whether Super Mario Run would cause a rebound - the former has happened.
In terms of the app's very early performance, research firm SensorTower says the app quickly moved to being the number one download in 68 countries, and the highest grossing in 14. Again, though, it's incredibly early to judge, which SensorTower has acknowledged to Bloomberg, with some users likely to play through the free levels for a short while before deciding whether to buy the full game. After 12 hours the app had moved to number one in the SensorTower revenue chart for US, and up to 27th in Japan (up from 107th right after launch).
The picture will be clearer, in terms of launch success, in the next few days. More data will emerge, and we'll get a sense of how many day one downloads have turned into purchases. Should early fears be allayed Nintendo's share value will likely swing right back up; we shall see.
The jury is still out on Super Mario Run's pricing strategy, and it'll be interesting to see how it performs (in terms of sales) over this coming launch weekend.